Desmond Thomas Herbert, Sr., 94, of Jackson, Michigan passed peacefully on March 10, 2022 surrounded by family singing a chorus of “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” Des was born in his parents’ home in Lincoln Park, Michigan on July 17, 1927 to “the most loving parents a person could ever have”; Patrick and Ann Herbert. He was preceded in death by his bride Rosemarie -- the love of his life, wife, girlfriend, sweetheart, and mother to their ten surviving children: Clif Langlois (Linda), Deborah, Elaine (Robert Kripaitis), Kathleen Lehr (David), Pamela Whaley (David), Desmond II (Debra), Mark, Matthew (Jacqui), Rosemarie Morris (Jim), and Daniel. Des was also preceded in death by his four siblings: Agnes Reilley (Gerry), Joan Martin (Jack), Charles (Shirley), and James (Joan, surviving).
Other than his wife of “forever,” Rosemarie (who he lovingly referred to as “Bubs”), he was a lover of long stories riddled with digression, jigsaw puzzles with a few pieces missing, and naps. He loved to work; the planning, the process, and the effort (often more than the result of the labor itself). His favorite career years were in the grocery business. It offered him a healthy environment for bringing order to chaos, as well as exercising his strong affinity for challenging and physical work. The grocery business also provided Des an atmosphere that satisfied his desire to continually learn, think critically, and be social with his local neighborhood customers.
He especially loved to work with and for the benefit of others. He loved the mission and family-of-hearts at Habitat for Humanity. He treasured his time volunteering with the folks at Disabilities Connection, the Dahlem Center, and many others. He supported the work of the Jackson Interfaith Shelter, South Michigan Food Bank, the American Philatelic Society, and numerous other social causes
Des had a voracious appetite for reading; preferring drama, mysteries, and history, over literature, poetry, or sonnets. He spent treasured solitude with his vast collection of United States stamps, albums, plate blocks, and first-day covers while tinkering with the requisite tweezers and magnifying glasses.
He was a State of Michigan “Master Gardener,” delighting in joyful days laboring in the gardens around his home. When leaving Des’ home after a visit, it was typical for him to grab a container, fill it with his compost-enhanced super dirt, and send you home with plants or cuttings. In the fall and winter months alike, he’d just as reliably send you with seeds and bulbs.
He had a gift for repurposing broken-down things into something useful. It was said he once built a fully functioning human heart out of an old wood pallet, the leftover pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and elbow grease. He was equally creative in the kitchen; often throwing interesting mixes of leftovers into a pot on the stove and calling it “soup.”
Des loved his family more than himself, providing and caring for them in good times and bad. He will be remembered for the twinkle in his sparkling blue eyes, his gentle strength, wry smile, and forgiving heart.
Friends and family are invited to join a celebration of Des’ life on July 17th, 2022 from 11am until 4pm at Cascades Manor, 1970 Kibby Road, Jackson, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, Des’ family would appreciate any expression of your sympathy be made for the benefit of the Jackson Interfaith Shelter or Disabilities Connection.